On April 26 and 27, scuba divers, icons in diving, and representatives from diving businesses joined at the first annual San Francisco Scuba Dive and Travel Adventure Show (SFO Dive Show), held at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, California. The two-day show featured a bevy of activities and events tailor made for scuba divers and water aficionados, with live entertainment, exhibits, seminars, and much more. The SFO Dive Show was put together by US Dive Shows, an organization, which has managed scuba diving conventions throughout the United States.
Article by John Tapley; photos courtesy Brian Miller
We briefly spoke with US Dive Shows head and SFO Dive Show organizer Brian Miller about the inaugural event.
John Tapley (JT): Thanks for agreeing to meet with me today, Brian. How did the show go over all?
Brian Miller (BM): It went pretty good. We had a good setup for the exhibitors: a lot of travel exhibitors and local retailers. Our turnout as far as consumers go was on the lighter side of expectations but all in all it was a good day. One exhibitor told me it was a better selling day than when they attended larger shows in the New York area: that was a good impression.
JT: What about your seminars and speaker events?
BM: Our seminars went well with big names like Howard Hall and Michelle … who made presentations during the day and during the theater event. I wasn’t happy with the attendance at the evening theater: I think it was a matter of timing and getting used to the new location. Traffic is a major factor out there compared to the east coast.
JT: As an event organizer, what were some key differences between the SFO show and other dive shows?
BM: The show itself, its template, was exactly the same as the DC show. The west coast is automobile-oriented… they’re freeway drivers; near Washington DC, everyone is riding the metro every day. It’s also an area where you can go diving in the morning: I had a few people who dove in Monterey and then drove to us later in the afternoon.
JT: How was the venue location for your inaugural SFO show?
BM: I think the Santa Clara Convention Center is excellent. We’re in the premiere spot of the facilities and have booked next year for the same weekend: the 25th and 28th. The layout is being finalized. I liked the venue so much I want to go there over and over. I’m already looking forward to 2021!
JT: Thanks for this brief interview, Brian.
BM: Thank you.
Looking forward, Miller and US Dive Shows are planning this year’s Dive Hope event, slated for August 3 at White Star State Park in Gibsonburg, Ohio. Now in its 11th year, Dive Hope is an all-day scuba diving charity event benefiting The Breast Cancer Fund of Ohio. More details on this event will be covered in a future edition of Scuba H2O Adventures magazine. For information on Dive Hope, visit the event Facebook page at www.facebook.com/DIVEHOPE.
For ongoing details on next year’s SFO Dive Show, go to www.usdiveshows.com.